7 years ago
February 21, 2017

5 Qualities You Really Need in Top Sales Reps

To succeed in the competitive market, your sales organization needs top sales reps. Make sure the reps you hire have these five qualities.

Rhys Metler


Just like every other sales manager of every sales organization, you want to fill with your sales team with top-performing sales reps. Since your employees are your greatest asset, having the best people on your team can help you gain a competitive advantage in the market.

Though hiring top salespeople is a common goal among sales organizations, it’s not such an easy task. Many hiring managers have tried time and time again, only to end up with more mediocre or downright terrible salespeople bringing them down.

The reason it’s so difficult to hire top sales reps is because sales isn’t for everyone. It takes a very specific type of person to thrive in the field. Though top sales reps can take on many forms, they all have five qualities in common. It’s up to you to spot these traits while interviewing candidates. Check them out below.

1. They Are Driven by Challenges

The best sales reps crave a good challenge and will stop at nothing to close a great sale. They’re not only competitive with their fellow salespeople, they’re internally competitive with themselves. They want to exceed their own expectations as well as those of the people around them. They want to do the impossible. They want to impress by taking on tough challenges and succeeding, no matter what it takes. They set big goals and quotas and take daily action to achieve them. Many of the best sales reps were athletes at one time or another, making them well-equipped to function in a competitive environment.

2. They Are Passionate

A salesperson who doesn’t really care about his job or what he’s selling won’t go above and beyond to exceed goals and quotas. He’ll do the bare minimum to get his pay cheque and that’s it. What sets the top sales reps apart is their passion. They feel truly passionate about not only their job as a sales rep, but also about their love for their company. They also take pride in the products or services they sell.

When you love what you do, you work harder at it and put in more effort. If a salesperson shines at being truly passionate about your company and what you sell during an interview, this is a huge sign that they’ll stop at nothing to help you make sales.

3. They Are Coachable

Being driven by challenges and being passionate are important qualities, but a salesperson won’t succeed in your sales organization if he cannot be coached into results. Well-coached sales teams outperform the competition time and time again. A stubborn sales rep that doesn’t believe he has weaknesses will be nearly impossible to coach, and thus, will never grow professionally.

To test for coachability during interviews, roleplay. Ask the candidates to sell you something then ask them to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses—those who are unafraid to admit to their weaknesses will be the most open to coaching opportunities. If they get defensive, you’ll have a more difficult time managing them.

4. They Have Integrity

Integrity is critical to success in sales. It’s the foundation of any good salesperson’s actions. The best sales reps abide by a moral code. They’re straight shooters with convictions. They don’t believe in lying, cheating, and scamming to get the sale. This helps them build trust and loyalty, which is what ultimately gets customers to buy. Make sure the salespeople you hire make decisions based on ethical standards.

5. They Excel at Building Relationships

Top-performing salespeople are personable. They’re great conversationalists with verbal acuity. They’re honest and compassionate. They have empathy. They have excellent listening skills. And all of these traits translate into their high ability to build relationships. In order to succeed in sales, your salespeople need to be able to easily talk with your clients or prospects.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.